Sixth Part. The RCMP Raids On B.C. Legislature Offices. Aftermath.

Posted on Saturday, January 13 at 17:13 by Robin Mathews
Visiting Vancouver, staying with active B.C. Liberals, and then having one of them become federal campaign manager for his leadership bid should have been a brilliant move for Stephane Dion. What could be better: a confirmed, smart, experienced Quebec native taking on a smart B.C. anglophone Liberal for federal campaign manager in a successful run to become Liberal leader (and maybe Prime Minister of Canada)? Except Mark Marissen isn’t a normal Liberal. He’s a “B.C. elite Liberal” – which means something Stephane Dion may not know anything about. A B.C. elite Liberal is someone who gives total loyalty to the Corporate Class and does anything opportunistic to serve that class. Think of David Emerson – buddy of Gordon Campbell’s in the stripping of safety codes from the forest industry, wrecking B.C. Ferries, etc., becoming Liberal candidate in a Vancouver riding, winning, and then casually crossing the House where he can be more effective for the Corporate Class. Entering those facts into the equation changes everything – and not just because Mark Marissen and his wife Christy Clark have been too close to George-Bush-Style Rightest B.C. premier, Gordon Campbell. (Remember they were loyal “B.C. elite Liberals”, and Christy Clark was deputy premier of the Province as B.C. Ferries was wrecked, B.C. Rail was sold in a flurry of criminal charges, B.C. Hydro was being (secretly) wrecked, and much more.) They are not normal Liberals, and not just because Mark Marissen is (to use selected terms from Miro Cernetig’s carefully massaged CanWest Monopoly Press feature story) “driven”, a “feared figure”, “ruthless”, a man “who would take no prisoners in the effort to win”, a man who engaged himself in the political destruction of Herb Dhaliwal such that it brought Warren Kinsella to say: “I’ve witnessed a lot of political thuggery, but I had never before seen anything as disgusting as that.” (Miro Cernetig, “A West Coast Power Player”, Vanc. Sun, Jan 6 07 C1 C11). Those things are bad. They suggest that the boy brought up in the shadow of the reactionary Heritage Christian Party in St. Thomas, Ontario, isn’t as far from his boyhood state of being as Miro Cernetig might like to think. And there’s more. Being the man (to quote Miro Cernetig again) “who led Martin’s last campaign in B.C.”, didn’t he have to be close to “the Basi boys”, to the heavy allegations of fraudulent bulk Party membership buying at the time, and to Dave Basi whom MP Herb Dhaliwal named as a major force in the destruction of his federal candidacy? Remember, in the heat of the drive (and the taking of no prisoners) to get Martinite candidacies, the Chief Electoral Officer, Jean Pierre Kingsley, spoke out publicly about the heavy allegations of fraudulent bulk Party membership gathering in B.C. Kingsley reminded people the activity is illegal, probably criminal. When 20 British Columbians wrote to Jean Pierre Kingsley a joint letter asking for investigation of that activity in B.C., Kingsley (I believe) stalled, obstructed, and ran the other way – but only after he had publicly recognized serious allegations of electoral fraud in the Province where Mark Marissen was – was he not? – the man “who led Martin’s last campaign”. That’s bad. But things get somewhat worse. As I write Dave Basi, Aneal Basi, and Bob Virk are charged with (all toted up) about 14 criminal charges among them, largely to do with the dirty, secret, Gordon Campbell sale of the B.C. people’s B.C. Rail. Things spill over. How? Nastily. Unpredictably. Because some of the same people involved in alleged fraudulent bulk Party membership gathering were also – it is alleged – involved in criminal acts around the sale of B.C. Rail. One of the disappearing Wikipedia entries I hunted up, moreover, speaks of Erik Bornmann, Christy Clark, and Mark Marissen (the three names together) as young Liberals in the early 1990s. Erik Bornmann is the Crown’s “Star Witness”, who has declared he delivered bribe money to one or two of the accused. A little history. Generally, elite B.C. Liberal Party people can be farther Right than George W. Bush and Attila the Hun. That is for historical reasons. Essentially, a major split existed for a long time between the Left and Right forces contending for political power in B.C. As a result, elite leaders not on the Left became, often, out-and-out Private Corporation servants – “keep out the Left and push Corporate policies at any cost”. There is, it is true, a large, progressive, liberal group of ordinary people in B.C. that votes Liberal. But don’t confuse them with people like Gordon Campbell, his whole cabinet, most of his MLAs, as well as Mark Marissen and Christy Clark. Miro Cernetig mentions Marissen’s “liberal tendencies”. What liberal tendencies? His behaviour as leader of the B.C. Paul Martin election was not “liberal”. It was “elite B.C. Liberal”. When Christy Clark, Marissen’s wife, was Gordon Campbell’s deputy premier and Minister of Education, she was reactionary, small-minded, Campbell-like. The B.C. Rail disaster exploded when she was deputy premier. Basi, Basi, and Virk were charged and hanging in judicial limbo. Then the 2005 B.C. election happened, and Christy Clark – whom Cernetig tells us – may still want “ even the job of Gordon Campbell” – abandoned politics in order, she said, to spend more time with her children. (Many people believe she left to spend more time with her children.) Having spent a few months with her children, she tried hard (managed by Mark Marissen) to get the NPA Vancouver mayoralty candidacy. (The NPA is the political organization of the Right in Vancouver.) She didn’t get it. Cernetig says it was Marissen who “failed abysmally” to get her the job. Claims at the time, however, were that Christy Clark didn’t have a chance. She’d not only knifed the teachers, she looked like she might like to knife B.C. public education. The nice NPA voters, it was alleged, drew the line there. As Cernetig says, “she didn’t even win the nomination” – former Campbell cabinet minister, former deputy premier of the Province in a room full of NPA supporters. The wave of getting-ready-for and the politics of after-Jean Chretien in B.C. were deep and dirty – as the Private Corporation wing of the Liberal Party tried to take over completely. Stephen Harper’s Rightests made opportunities better for the Right Wing Liberals, made them seem less dirty. Peter MacKay had successfully double-crossed David Orchard. Stephen Harper was wooing George W. Bush and speaking Bush-like politics. The Liberal Party went from bad to badder. Remember that the real Liberal (liberal) says: “Okay, show us the rules. We’ll try to play by them”. The Private Corporation, Right Wing Liberal says: “Okay, show us the rules. We’ll show you how to use them fraudulently to get power.” Ask Gordon Campbell. Remember, the direct employer of Dave Basi was Gordon Campbell, and the man running the Martin show in B.C. – to get rid of Herb Dhaliwal, to get Ujjal Dosanjh and David Emerson and other “desirable” candidates put in place was – you guessed it – Mark Marissen. In B.C.’s early history the Left was a significant factor, well before the creation of the CCF and then the NDP. In its early days the CCF, too, really threatened Private Corporate power in B.C. As a result, near the middle of the last century, the Liberals and Conservatives went into coalition to hold off government that might place the people first. Then in the early 1950s Conservative W.A.C. Bennett left the coalition, the B.C. Social Credit Party was born and took power in 1952. It stayed in power until 1972, home for all Right-leaning politicians (whether Liberal, Conservative, completely crackpot, or other), banding together to keep out the Left. That strong Left/Right division and the nature of the elite non-NDP politicians has shaped B.C. politics. The so-called power Liberals or elite Liberals in B.C. are often not true Liberals in anything but name. They are naked representatives of Private Corporate interests. When Gordon Wilson, Liberal leader before Gordon Campbell, proved he wasn’t a naked representative of Private Corporate interests, he was run out. To be replaced by Gordon Campbell (by dubious election means, it is alleged.) To be loyal to Gordon Campbell Liberalism, for instance, as Christy Clark showed she was, and as Mark Marissen did too – is to be as far from Canadian liberalism and even from the best of Canadian Liberalism as it is possible to be. I said “things spill over. Nastily, Unpredictably.” Look at it. Gordon Campbell sold B.C. Rail in a dirty, secret set of sell-outs. He needed help. He got it. Some people were chased and charged – but no one in the Campbell cabinet or among the close “outsiders” was touched. Christy Clark’s brother is said to have been found by the RCMP with cabinet documents he shouldn’t have had. So? The RCMP has been accused of obstructing release of evidence to the Defence in the Basi, Basi, Virk trial. So? The Special Prosecutor, William Berardino, was once a partner of the Attorney General in the Gordon Campbell government who appointed him to deal with all things connected to the Legislature raids – and Berardino has not been famous for pushing the trial forward or for finding elite Liberals to charge. So? So there have to be bad feelings all over the place. Basi, Basi, and Virk, the three men charged as a result of the legislature “raids” (and their associates), moreover, are not beloved by all of the Indo-Canadian community. Many are furious at the dirty deal given Herb Dhaliwal and the smear delivered to the Indo-Canadian community by the bulk membership scandals and the criminal charges against the three connected to the legislature raids. Some Indo-Canadians wouldn’t mind at all balancing up the score. Some would feel they’d done a good day’s work if they could deck Mark Marissen. Stephane Dion’s B.C. team has enemies all over the place. And one of those enemies – it is possible to speculate – might be able at some time to step into the public arena with new evidence to re-ignite the claim that the Liberal Party is too dirty to be the government of Canada. Stephane Dion has a fight on his hands whatever happens, for the Hard Right, the George Bush Canadians want power as they’ve never wanted it before. They want to hold on to reactionary power in a reactionary time. They will be very happy to say: “Okay, show us the rules, and we’ll show you how to use them fraudulently to get power”. As well, with no connection whatever to the Stephen Harper party, Auditor General Sheila Fraser could drop a new, tasty piece of information about Martin-time corruption, just as the election starts. As well, with no connection whatever to the Stephen Harper party, Beverly Busson, Stephen Harper’s “interim” choice as RCMP Commissioner who is filling disgraced Guiliano Zaccardelli’s position, might just start, publicly, (as Zaccardelli did before her) a criminal investigation of an innocent top Liberal, in the midst of the election. Beverly Busson was B.C. top cop through what I call “the fraudulent RCMP investigation and trial of Glen Clark, B.C. premier”. She was appointed Deputy Commissioner during Zaccardelli’s time as Commissioner, so he must have approved of her. She had nothing to say when my complaint (over the Glen Clark investigation) to the Commissioner of Public Complaints Against the RCMP was wrongfully closed down by two of her experienced officers. She was top cop the years (2004-2006) the RCMP was, allegedly, stalling the Basi, Basi, Virk case and failing to find any other suspects than the three Indo-Canadians. Why did Stephen Harper appoint her? Because a reactionary government always likes (a) wars, (b) paramilitary power (c) a tamed and cooperative police force, (d) and every sign that IT is running the police. Stephen Harper liked being seen with Guiliano Zaccardelli. Harper’s appointment of Beverly Busson as successor looks almost too reactionary to be true. If Stephane Dion has his head screwed on tight, he’ll change his B.C. tactics. He’ll come to B.C., meet ordinary people and offer real “liberal” options for future policy. He won’t stay at Mark Marissen’s and Christy Clark’s “downtown Vancouver home”. He won’t spend time in Gordon Campbell’s company. In fact, he’ll ask Marissen and Clark to take a two-year trip abroad, somewhere, anywhere - far from Canada. He’ll ask them to drop out of their connections to the Liberal Party – and to get lost, maybe in Yvkusigsatt, or Torva, or Tonlerepou. Quite simply – and primarily - because of the ugly political atmosphere in B.C., Dion would be smart to ask that favour even if Mark Marissen is as pure as the driven snow, without a flaw, unmarked by error, a model of political purity. If, however, there is only a thin wall protecting some elite Liberals in B.C. from incriminating information, and if that wall comes down – and there is dirt, and it is close to or touches Mark Marissen, Stephane Dion should watch out. The cry will be: “Look at them. Look at the guy. Dion’s right hand man. His leadership campaign manager, his co-chair for the Liberal Party election campaign. Still up to the old Liberal tricks. Still the dirty Liberals”. The lighted fuse to a B.C. Liberal keg of dynamite could reach its destination and everything good Dion wants for Canada could be blown off the face of the earth. POSTSCRIPT. David Orchard decided early that Stephane Dion was the Liberal to back for leader as (in Orchard’s view) the best man for Canada. So Orchard joined the Liberal Party, organized his supporters, and together they delivered a number of delegates to the Liberal leadership convention – solidly supporting Stephane Dion. In fact, David Orchard probably had a lot more to do with Stephane Dion’s victory than Mark Marissen did. David Orchard worked out of principle and, as far as I know, has received no Liberal appointment. Virtue, as the philosophers tell us, is its own reward. Mark Marissen worked as an “elite B.C. Liberal” for Stephane Dion and has received his payoff: co-chair of the Liberal Party national election campaign. For now. [Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on January 15, 2007]

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